Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Why Do We Love Bill?

As featured on AllStephenMoyer.com

All the fans who frequent AllStephenMoyer.com are definitely true and loyal Bill Compton fans. We even have a special section on this site devoted to our favorite Vampire Bill.
Recently a member of the AllStephenMoyer forum posed the question: Why do you love Bill?
Here's what she wrote: Hey guys. :) I'm going to be completely upfront here: I'm Team Sookie all the way. That said, I have a question for you guys and I really want to love Mr. Compton. Why do you love Bill? The Rattray incident makes it pretty impossible for me to love him. What's up with that?! Am I missing something? Letting her almost get beaten to death so he could get his blood in her is just... unforgivable to me. On top of that, he lies to her at almost every turn and killed her uncle! What about the Lorena flashback? The hatefuck where he twisted Lorena's head?! I get the southern gentleman thing he's got going on, I do. I just don't understand how his indiscretions are excusable. Don't get me wrong. I'm not on the Eric bandwagon either, or Alcide for that matter. Forced to choose, I'd say Sam is Sookie's best bet. I just want to understand the Bill love.
Here's my answer: My answer to this is not plain, nor is it simple, but the fact that Bill Compton is a vampire who hates his very nature and finds himself in a constant struggle to live with that nature, makes for an irresistible combination. It's that struggle within him that makes him so interesting and unforgettable. He came to Bon Temps on a mission and he was surprised to fall in love with Sookie. I truly believe he loves her, and that everything he has done since he fell in love has been for her. Yes, it's true he 'waited' to save her from the Rattray's but, he wasn't yet in love with her at the time, and he none the less, saved her. Yes, he killed Uncle Bartlett, but it was done for Sookie.

And, the "hatefuck" scene was not a sexual act, in my opinion, but more about Bill's hatred for Lorena and his feeling of utter despair at his situation. Stephen Moyer explained it well at Paley when he was asked about it. He stated that he originally had concerns for that scene and even spoke to Alan Ball about it.  However, he came to realize that it wasn't what it seemed to be, but instead, a means for Bill to express his hatred for his maker. Stephen said, "It's the only thing that he has over her. He can be completely fucked around by her, but he can "fuck her". The frustrating thing about this, and why Bill screams in outrage at the end of the act, is that there is nothing so hateful that Bill could do to Lorena that she wouldn't love and want him to do, and, at that moment, he realized it's futility. Therefore, in my opinion, this act shouldn't be judged on the same basis as sex with any woman or vampire. Below is the video of how Stephen Moyer explains Bill's motive in the twisting head scene:
Bill is the most interesting character because of his struggle, his complexity and because he is a tortured soul who would love to be human and live a normal existence. His dislike of his own vampire nature makes us feel for him, and the fact that he wants to be more like us, forms a bond with those who love him. Right away in the books and in the show I gravitated to Bill, and with the additional charm that Stephen Moyer has brought to the part, (which cannot be denied or ignored), Bill is irresistible. I'm a Bill lover through and through and always will be. 

When this question was posted on the forum, we got a flood of responses from many of our members. Below are some of the best:

I've read all the books and even though Bill basically disappeared from sight after the first few, I fell in love with him then and there. I believed in his love for and devotion to Sookie.That has never wavered. Bill made mistakes ... sins of omission and commission ... both in the books and in True Blood. Stephen's portrayal of Bill solidified my feelings from the books. He's done an amazing job as the brooding, tortured Mr. Compton. The love for any character is a very subjective thing. I guess you either feel it or you don't. I am convinced that Bill loves Sookie. He may not end up with her. They may not get back together again.  But he will die protecting her if need be. The journey continues. I do believe Bill and Sookie have a strong connection. I hope they can work through the problems and come back to each other.  Maybe "yes," maybe "no." From my little corner I will be cheering them on.
I too had some similar feelings,however I do feel, still feel, and have always felt Bill and Sookie truly love each other.Sometimes I have wondered if my feelings for the love Steve and Anna have has influenced my feelings for Bill  and Sookie, but I don't think so.I feel that Sookie loves Bill and she may come to love Eric too, but I don't think she will ever stop loving Bill. This [True Blood] Bill is in no way the book Bill. And that is thanks to Stephen Moyer. This is just my humble opinion. Personally, I prefer Bill. But I like Eric too.
I love Bill because he is incredibly earnest and charming. He's made mistakes, no doubt about it, but his love and devotion to Sookie have never been in question for me. He would do anything to protect her. He didn't know the first night they met that he would fall head over heels for her. I think she came across as an intriguing and quirky young woman, but not the instant love of his life.  He had orders to seek her out and he did. I think what shocked him was that the subject of his work turned out to be someone he truly loved. In his defense, he didn't want to confess all to Sookie for fear that he would lose her. I totally get that. She does tend to fly off the handle all the time, sometimes over nothing. Now if it wasn't the beautiful Mr. Moyer in this role, I MIGHT be more inclined to lay more blame and resentment at Bill's feet.  But, the earnestness, charm and beauty are three reasons for me to defend him to the bitter end.
I love Bill because he just never gives up. He fought his way back to finding his humanity after being violently turned against his will just as he was about to reunite with his family, he fought his way back to love even when he never expected to find it again, and he continues to fight against both his inherent nature and the shackles of vampire society to try and make some sort of life for himself (and for Sookie, and for Jessica). I wasn't a fan of the Rattray reveal and hope there's more to the story, but that was just when Bill and Sookie met.  He didn't know her, he certainly didn't love her. At most he was intrigued by her, and he was sent to do a job - the details of which we still don't know fully (though I'm assuming it falls in the "procuring" realm). Falling in love with Sookie complicated that for him, and it really does add even more meaning to his "miracle" speech at the beginning of season 2. I think in a lot of ways Bill had given up on "life" and love before he met Sookie, and she brought him back to life in many ways. Does all that Bill has done for Sookie since that night with the Rattrays make up for it?  I don't know. He's saved her time and again, many times to his own detriment, and I think that means something.  But who knows what Sookie thinks or will do?  I'm sure she'll be very mad for a long while, as she should be. The only way I could see her turning to Eric after the heinous ish he pulled on her last season - intentionally! - is with the amnesia thing, so that makes some sense.  But IMO any relationship Sookie has in season 4 will be a rebound from Bill, and I'm curious to see how she'll live her life apart from him.
I started reading the books about 8 yrs or so ago. I fell hard for Bill and haven't waivered one iota since.I only continue reading the books for the few tidbits of Bill .I feel he is absolutely the most intriguing and mysterious character in the entire series. That CH doesn't get that is bewildering to me.There is nothing about him I do not want to know, the good, the bad, the bloody, I want it all.  Stephen being cast as Bill was icing on the cake.:smile: I love Bill endlessly and unashamedly.
I've chewed on this question more than once. It's great that you can look at the whole Bill conumdrum straight on and not sugar coat it. And yeah, I've still got a whole lotta love for Bill. I'm probably a little different than others though. I do not see loving Bill meaning that Bill and Sookie will end up together - but I digress. Season1 Bill had a multitude of good stuff going for him.  There was the whole sexuality/magnetism thing (thank you Stephen Moyer). I could not. look. away.  In his relationship with sookie, Bill clearly had the advantage, but never abused it. Yes, he killed Sookie's uncle. And every girl who has ever been touched inappropriately cheered. And Bill has lied quite a bit. Ok...I did have some trouble with this. But the thing is, from Bill's standpoint, everything he does in relation to sookie is for her, not to her. But the most important thing about Bill (imo) is that he's a human wannabe.  As a vampire, he's been released from all the problems of human existence. But, instead of finding a way to enjoy it, Bill is trying to find a way back to humanity.  I really love this part of him.  The Lorena head twist sex along with that right jab to the  face really bothered me for awhile.  But we know that  Bill has realized that he doesn't want 'live' that way anymore.  That's what's really beautiful about Bill.  He makes some hellified mistakes. And we're going to watch him pay for them.  But he just keeps trying to be a better being.  He started this journey back to his humanity before he met sookie, and I think that he will continue it, with or without her.
I love Bill because he's the most complicated, interesting, and sexy character on the show. Bill is no saint but he's more than proven himself.
He a true tragic romantic hero...lines like, "I can smell the sunlight on your skin", or "We're all kept alive by magic"...the man/vampire's a poet.   And considering what a sadistic piece of work his maker was...no surprise that he has a vicious side. But whatever the original intent of his coming back to Bon Temps, he fell in love, and everything he did or does is out of love for Sookie...she means that much to him.
I love Bill because he is the most complex and interesting character on the show. And I so enjoy watching Stephen bring him to life.
Hmmm because it's Stephen who plays him??  ;) Well mostly, but I also think he's the ultimate vampire, dark, brooding, beautiful, dangerous but still struggling to be better.
I love Bill because to me he is the romantic hero that I use to love reading about in the fairytale stories I grew up reading. Bill is a tragic character which makes me interested in him because he didn't deserve to be turned in the first place and I see him as this good man who has made terrible choices but tries to redeem himself. Granted that the Rattray incident did get me a little mad at him because it disillusioned my idea that Bill was a perfect vampire that can do no wrong. Although I realized that Bill shouldn't be held in a high standard because of the way Stephen portrays him. Bill is the most human out of all the characters on the show where he makes all these mistakes and still he tries to correct them even though it can lead to problems such as with Jessica where the situation was beyond his control but still he tried to make her as comfortable as he could which in itself was pretty sad. He is just a deeper character to understand and that, to me, is better and I hope that he wins in the end whether it is having Sookie or not I just want Bill to have his happy ending because he deserves it.
I presume that Bill has not been in love with a human before, except of course, when he himself was human.  His relationship with Sookie is his first vampire/human relationship. So, it is as new to him as it is to Sookie. Just something else to the throw in the mix. I love him and will never stop.
Ever since he walked into Merlottes I have loved that vampire. I lost my mom three years ago and my favorite aunt the same year 2008. I went into a deep depression, me and my daughter. I gained weight, I gave up on my art and was a all around gloomy gussette. Stephen changed that for me. Thank-God for him. I lost over 37 pounds, I started writing again, My daughter started to watch and felt better, too. "God and Bill helped me, mom, 'snif snif'."  I was a happy woman.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

True Blood says “Happy Birthday Tennessee Williams”

As featured on The Vault - TrueBlood-Online.com

The Katselas Theatre Company‘s ongoing monthly INKubator series presented their performance of Happy Birthday Tennessee, yesterday, Saturday, March 26 at the 99 seat, Skylight Theatre which is located in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles. I attended the event to see three of the True Blood cast members, Deborah Ann Woll, Jim Parrack and Dale Raoul read from the writing of the great 20th century author.

Deborah Ann Woll, Jim Parrack and Dale Raoul

Michael Kearns
I was surprised to learn how familiar the writings are to our culture when I attended this celebration of Tennessee Williams’ 100th birthday. I was actually surprised at how much I already knew and recognized of his work and, how many of the quotes I could place. I also think that Tennessee Williams would have been a fan of the writing on True Blood and glad that three of it’s stars were in this performance. 

The performance started out with Michael Kearns, an award-winning writer-performer, walking onto the stage in the part of the great author himself. He was delightful to listen to as he set up what was to come, as well as speak a bit about the man while providing much of the funnier moments of the afternoon. And, as was timely, he asked the audience to observe a moment of silence for the great Elizabeth Taylor, who passed away just last week and had been in, at least, two Tennessee Williams films, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and Suddenly Last Summer.

The first half provided a reading of the William’s short story “One Arm“, written in the late 1940′s, but not published until the 1970′s. Six men, read the story aloud to the audience including actors Harry Hart-Browne, Brandon Crowder, Norman Dixon, Brian Jordon-Alvarez, and Mark Salyer who all stood behind Jim Parrack, who was seated in a chair playing the part of “One Arm”. The six men did a very animated and well acted reading, but Jim’s reading of a letter written while his character was waiting to die in prison was, for me, the most compelling.

The second half of the performance was for ladies only. Five women, including Deborah Ann Woll (Jessica Hamby), Dale Raoul (Maxine Fortenberry), Caroline Aaron, Donna Mills (Knots Landing), and Stephanie Zimbalist, daughter of Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., read quotations from many of Tennessee William’s works. All the women read well and in addition to other characters they quoted, Deborah did a good interpretation of Maggie the Cat and Dale was splendid as Blanche DuBois.

After the performance, everyone descended onto the stage, which was at ground level, to congratulate the actors and actresses, and to say “hello.” I was thrilled to once again see Deborah Ann Woll and Jim Parrack, who I have met several times before, getting a hug from both. Deborah introduced me to her parents and Jim mentioned his upcoming film of “Post” which is due to premiere in June. But, for me, the highlight of the event was to finally get to meet Dale Raoul, who plays Hoyt’s mother, Maxine Hortenberry on True Blood.

Its apparent to me me how good an actress Dale is, since I found her to be as nice as she could be, and so different from the character she plays in True Blood. I asked her if Hoyt’s mama was going to be nicer to Jessica in Season 4, and of course, she told me that she just couldn’t say. However, she did say that she, Deborah and Jim are great friends off camera and that was very evident by the affection they showed each other. She introduced me to her husband, Ray Thompson and was kind enough to ask Ray to take a photo of the four of us, as seen below. Thanks Ray!

Deborah Ann Woll, Lynnpd, Jim Parrack and Dale Raoul
I enjoyed the event a lot and was glad of the opportunity to see three True Blood stars perform all at once. Thanks to Michael Kearns for letting me know about the event and being delightful as Tennessee and thanks to Deb, Jim and Dale for just being so great! 

Learn more about the Katselast Theater Company by visiting their site: http://www.katselastheatre.com

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Facing the Atlantic with Bertie Portal

As featured on The Vault - TrueBlood-Online.com and AllStephenMoyer.com

Recently, Stephen Moyer told us about his friend and actor, Bertie Portal and his effort to row across the Atlantic Ocean, “Facing the Atlantic” in support of the charity “Facing The World”. When we discovered more about what a wonderful charity that “Facing the World” is, The Vault and AllStephenMoyer.com immediately adopted Facing the Atlantic as a charity to support in our 2011 Fundraiser.

A little over a week ago, I had an opportunity to speak to Bertie, to ask him about the challenge and learn more about his reasons for the row.

In December 2011, he and his team mate, James Cash will leave La Gomera in the Canary Islands on December 4th 2011 to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean to Port St Charles in Barbados to raise awareness and money for the charity Facing The World.

At the time we spoke, Bert had just returned from completing an exam in Southampton where he and James had attended a course to learn what was needed to get through the journey and reach their goal safely. The course they attended included ocean navigation and sea survival exams and Bertie admitted to me that he found it extremely difficult. He said, “I’m an actor, not a mathematician and this was essentially Trigonometry. James is much better at that than I and he got me through it.

Bertie Portal and James Cash in front of their boat

When I spoke to Bertie via Video Skype, I found him extremely humble, and genuinely grateful for the support that all the Stephen Moyer/True Blood fans have already shown to the team for Facing the Atlantic and to Facing the World.

We talked about how the whole adventure started and here’s some information provided to us by him about its beginnings:

Facing the World is the charity that was started by Martin Kelly. Bert chose this particular challenge since Martin was a close friend and he had promised him he would do something extraordinary to raise a lot of money for Facing The World.

Bert had initially planned to run the Marathon des Sables but upon Martin’s untimely death in 2008 leaving behind a pregnant wife (actress Natascha McElhone) with two small boys, he decided that not only had the time come for him to fulfill his promise but he wanted to do something even more challenging, something that would really push him to the very limits of his physical and mental abilities and so the Woodvale Atlantic Challenge seemed the only thing to do.

Facing stormy seas, rogue waves and tankers, Bert and James will survive on a diet of 7,000 calories each a day of re-hydrated army rations. Lack of sleep, basic creature comforts and damp conditions will not make for a comfortable ride. However they will take comfort in the knowledge that in doing this they will be helping change the lives of severely disfigured children, allowing them to lead normal lives.

The preparation for the race is more than training in the gym and being out in the boat on the open water. In order to qualify Bert and James must pass ocean navigation and sea survival exams as well as prove their commitment to the race by doing a 24 hour row rowing 2 hours on and 2 hours off, exactly as they will be when out on the ocean. Blisters and sore backs are part of everyday life but it’s essential to be at the peak of their fitness.

Mid way through the 24 hour row - James Cash

The end of the 24 hour row - Bertie Portal


Stephen had told us that he and Bertie are “best mates”, so I started off our interview asking Bertie about his relationship with Stephen Moyer. I asked him how they met and if he would talk a bit about their friendship.

BERTIE: Steve and I met at LAMDA (The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art). Groups are always changed around at drama school to change the dynamic, but whichever way they did it Stevie and I were always in the same group right the way through our three years. So we became friends by necessity! But, even on our first day we seemed to share the same sense of humor and made each other laugh.”

“We went skiing together in Switzerland once and just roared with laughter at each other to the exclusion of everyone else which looking back must have been extremely irritating!. He was busy at LAMDA as he was directing plays back home which I used to come and see and enjoy although we still laughed afterwards. But the other side of Stevie is his loyalty which I touched on in a short speech I made before his wedding in August last year. He tells his mates what they should hear, rather than what they might want to hear. Not easy to do that, especially when you run the risk of getting a thick ear or losing the friendship altogether. But he has always been bold like that; it’s one of his many endearing qualities.

I then asked Bertie what it means to him that Stephen is supportive of his efforts and the charity:
BERTIE:It means the world to me that he is involved as he knew Martin Kelly the co-founder of FTW, but also as we are in touch more frequently which is a huge bonus for me personally. I don’t see him as much obviously now so it feels good that we are linked by this. Be under no illusion however. Stevie is English and he is on loan to you! One of these days we are going to ask for him back and if you don’t give him back I’m going to have to come out there and you won’t want that!

How about your family?
BERTIE:My mother is being brilliant with her contacts and motherly support as is my partner Sam and her children. We have been heading down the corporate route for funding and friends are now just hearing about us. “

“But some friends are working on our behalf organizing events etc... of which I know nothing which is fantastic. It means that we can get on with the training and all that side of things.”

Bertie Portal in his role as the
King's Equery in "The King's Speech"

What made you decide to be an actor?

BERTIE: “I acted at school and enjoyed it very much. Then I discovered that you could actually do this for a living! It beats working for a living.

Were you surprised by the popularity of The King’s Speech?
BERTIE:The Kings Speech’ I knew was a wonderful script. The kind of thing I love. If I wasn’t an actor I am sure I would be an historical biographer. I love history, particularly that period. Then with Mr. Firth on board and Mr. Hooper the director together with the knights and everyone else I thought wow, this will be a good British film. If I’m honest I thought it would have limited interest. Maybe more if Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush had fangs. But I was completely surprised by the reaction, everyone was and it’s wonderful to see that the world has gone Kings Speech mad. I’m a monarchist myself and it’s restored my faith in the Englishman's view of the crown.

You’ve worked with many famous actors; can you name someone you worked with that you particularly enjoyed working with?
BERTIE: Michelle Williams. I just finished a film with her called 'My Week with Marilyn' and she was terrific. She even had an acting coach with her, like Marilyn did throughout the making of the original film. It was great fun also watching Kenneth Branaugh as Laurence Olivier.


Tell us about Facing the World and how Facing the Atlantic came to be.
BERTIE: FTW was started by a truly great man named Martin Kelly. I knew him through his wife Natascha McElhone (Californication) and I was an usher at their wedding. He and I became friends and I knew I wanted to help this exceptional man and his exceptional charity. I was going to run the marathons des Sables a run across the Sahara desert, but to my shame a job came up that I didn’t turn down. It took Martin's death to make me see that one has to take action NOW. Not later. There is always a good reason not to do anything. So I thought lets raise an extreme amount of money in Martin's great memory. How to do that? What to do? I know, row the Atlantic. That’s pretty extreme. And that in a nutshell was how it came about. I asked James Cash to join me and after a bit of thought he said yes. We shook hands. Facing the Atlantic was up and running!

How dangerous is this race?
BERTIE: It’s dangerous.”

You and James won’t be rowing across the ocean alone will you? How many other rowers are involved?
BERTIE: While the Atlantic is a very high traffic area, we will essentially be alone together with no other boats near us. We will each row for two hours, taking turns. It is important that we know how to take care of ourselves and function as a team.”

How will you get help if needed?
BERTIE:We have a radio phone and can call for help if need be.

When you think about the row… what is your biggest fear?
BERTIE:Sea sickness.”

Do you expect to win the race?
BERTIE: Winning is not as important as getting across safely. “


I can only imagine how much training is involved in getting ready for this incredible journey.
How often do you go to the gym, if that is where you train?
BERTIE:I row for 2.5 hours per day and running.”

Are you sore at night?
BERTIE: I can tell you that for a long time my “bum” was very sore.”

Fitting up the boat: We’ve seen photos of you working on your boat, can you talk about that? How big is it?
BERTIE:7.5 meters

What’s it made of?

Why not a bigger boat or a different design, or is this what you have to make? It is one that is used by all who do this journey.
BERTIE: It’s the best one and until they make something better, it’s what we will use. We purchased it used and we’ve been cleaning it up by removing advertisements on it and installing ballasts on the sides to make it sturdier.

Bertie scraping the boat


How did you and James Cash meet?
BERTIE: "I was in a play of 'The Thirty Nine Steps' and James was my trainer. He trained me very well and I didn’t miss a performance.

I am guessing that you have to trust in the other person a lot to work well together, is this true?
BERTIE: "Yes, James and I weren’t really close friends before we started training. I tend to think its better not to be close friends.

The experience: Can you tell us more about what you expect the experience to be like?"

How will you sleep on the boat?
BERTIE: "There is a hold on the bow of the boat and we will each take turns sleeping in it. I’ve heard it described as a “wet coffin”. It’s OK for one person to sleep in, but when the weather gets bad we will both have to be in there and it is very cramped for two to inhabit."

Get fresh water to drink?
BERTIE: “Desalination” the method that remove the salt from water to make it drinkable."

How will you wash?
BERTIE: "We will bring some shampoo and soap. We will be rowing nude, so there won’t be too much need to wash things other than ourselves. However, it is very important to keep clean in order to prevent sores, etc. from forming."

Is there a toilet on board?
BERTIE: "No, we will bucket and chuck it!"

How do you generate the necessary energy and what kind of equipment do you have on board?
BERTIE: "All our energy is solar generated. We don’t anticipate that we will have too many grey days, but after about four days of no sunlight, and things really start to wind down. However, we are crossing when it’s not hurricane season, and where we are crossing should give us sufficient sun."

Any modern conveniences?
BERTIE: "Not many. We will have our modern equipment like our GPS, radio phone, desalination machine, etc. but not much more. Since the row will take approximately 60 to 90 days, one luxury I do want to take is a bottle of champagne to have on Christmas."


Bertie and James meeting one of
the children helped by FTW

One of the best things about working on our web sites, for me has been the opportunity of meeting incredibly interesting people and learning about their adventures.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I would be experiencing all I am today and yet, those experiences can’t begin to compare to what Bertie and James will encounter in December when they begin the row.

When speaking to people like Bertie (which has been a rarity in my life), I truly can believe that nothing is impossible. While I personally would never challenge myself like he is and attempt to row across the Atlantic Ocean, he and James have nonetheless, become an inspiration to me and to others. I know that this won’t be an easy effort for them, but it’s certainly something well worth doing. The goodness that will come from their adventure will not only satisfy Bertie’s own personal goals, but the way in which it will help the children is beyond words.

Shad and I feel truly privileged to be able to help all we can to see that Bertie and James reach their goal and raise lots of financial support for Facing the World.

GIVE: www.facingtheatlantic.com or donate at www.justgiving.com/facingtheatlantic
Please note: add the code TB4FTA (True Blood for Facing The Atlantic) to the note of your donation so we can keep track of how much was donated by True Blood / Stephen Moyer fans.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

True Blood PaleyFest 2011, the full scoop!

As featured on The Vault - TrueBlood-Online.com

Last Saturday night, I experienced my second True Blood PaleyFest event. I attended the True Blood panel discussion in 2009 which was a blast, but what a difference two years have made.

In 2009, the Paleyfest was held at the Arclight Theater Cinerama Dome in April during the filming of Season 2, and we had only seen Season 1 at that time. While True Blood was a successful show then, it was still brand spanking new and somewhat in the background of the media's attention. However, our group of Billsbabes were die hard fans of the show even then and couldn't wait to finally get to see the cast in the flesh on the stage. At that event all of us were in the third row and wearing Billsbabe shirts. One of us even got to ask a question and then we were all asked to stand up. That event was not only a fun and wonderful time, but it was also my first time ever in Los Angeles and the first time that many of us had ever met.

Fast forward to March 2011; True Blood is a huge hit and what a phenomenon it has now become. I live in the LA area now and was lucky therefore to be able to join the other Billsbabes and go once again to see the cast on stage. I was glad that this time there were over 16 of the cast members included. It was great to see them all since True Blood is truly an "ensemble" show and dependent on all of it's cast members.

Our group, of "Billsbabes" numbered 10 and although we couldn't all sit together inside the theater this time, we stood in line together most of the day having lots of fun meeting fellow other Truebies. When we first arrived, early in the morning, not many other fans had showed up at this point, so our place in the line was primo. I walked the line several times during the day and was able to catch a couple of interviews from fans as seen below in this video:

As the day progressed, our excitement grew, and when it got closer to 6pm, when we were to be let into the theater, we were totally ready for it to begin. As we entered, we immediately all ran to find the best seats. Some of us were in the front orchestra section and others were in the rear orchestra. We would have loved to sit together, but the tickets sold out very quickly and it just wasn't possible. Most of us wore Billsbabes shirts so we did give a good showing from our group throughout the audience.

The show started late, but certainly didn't disappoint. After the normal introductions from Paley, Alan Ball was introduced and he presented a compilation clip of the first three seasons and a bonus scene from Season 4. He mentioned that the scene was not sound mixed or in it's final stage, but we all enjoyed seeing it none the less. The brief scene from Season 4, centered on Pam (Kristin Bauer) and a reunited Hoyt (Jim Parrack) and Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) confronting a group of protesters picketing Fangtasia. Here it is below:

After that, moderator, TV Guide's editor-in-chief Debra Birnbaum, came on board and she asked for cheers for Team Bill, Team Alcide and Team Eric. The cheers from the audience was decidedly in favor of Eric, but the cheers for Bill and Alcide were also quite loud.

Each of the 17 cast members and Alan Ball were individually introduced. They included Kevin Alejandro, “Jesus Velasquez”, Marshall Allman, “Tommy Mickens”, Chris Bauer, “Andy Bellefleur“ Kristin Bauer van Straten, “Pam De Beaufort“ Nelsan Ellis, “Lafayette Reynolds” Ryan Kwanten, “Jason Stackhouse” Todd Lowe, “Terry Bellefleur” Joe Manganiello, “Alcide Herveaux” Stephen Moyer, “Bill Compton” Anna Paquin, “Sookie Stackhouse” Jim Parrack, “Hoyt Fortenberry” Carrie Preston, “Arlene Fowler” Alexander Skarsgard, “Eric Northman” Sam Trammell, “Sam Merlotte” Rutina Wesley, “Tara Thornton” Deborah Ann Woll, “Jessica Hamby” and Alan Ball, Creator / Executive Producer. That stage was really crowded, but it was so nice to see all of the cast members highlighted for their fine work on the show.

All the cast were delightful and very animated in their responses. It was a really "funny" show and we were all transfixed by the interesting comments and questions. I enjoyed every minute of it. You can see video of the entire panel discussion, but clicking here.

One of the funny moments was when the moderator asked each of the cast about their fan experiences and Chris Bauer told a really funny story. While on vacation in Mexico, he thought a fan had recognized him and was coming up to him to talk about his role in True Blood when in reality it was someone who just wanted to tell him that he had bird "poo" on his shoulder. Nelsan Ellis talked about a fan wanting him to sign her "boobage", as he put it. These are just a few of the many endearing, as well as funny moments, in the show.

One very cute moment was when Stephen Moyer was asked for the umpteenth time to say "Sookie". He was able to put a new spin on it making us all laugh. In this video below, we see how he said "Sookie" to Anna and her reaction is priceless:

Stephen Moyer and Alexander SkarsgÄrd seem to be really good buddies:

Notice the affection expressed between them
when they meet on stage, awwwww! Definitely soul mates.
photo above as seen on askarsswedishmeatballs.tumblr.com

Steve makes a grumpy sad face when Alex talks
about Eric losing his memory in the upcoming season.

We also got some really good tidbits about the filming and as well as some Season 4 scoopage:
  • Alan Ball confirmed that Gary Cole and Fiona Shaw will guest star, and that there will be more new characters introduced including some witches, some shifters, a new werewolf, “a couple of humans and a child.”
  • Sookie has always been independent, but the way she reacts to things will be different in season 4. Evidently her faerie trip will change her in some profound ways.
  • When asked about Bill’s betrayal of Sookie and how that affects their soulmate status, Alan Ball had some interesting comments. First of all, he mentioned that Sookie “perceives” it as betrayal and it will be difficult to come back from it, and he wishes they had 17 seasons to explore everything. So do I!
  • Alex talked about Eric getting amnesia and that we’ll see a different Eric this season. He won’t be the human-hating violent vampire we’ve seen before, and may even be shocked/disappointed at the things he has done.
  • Alan also made a very sweet comment about it being difficult to view Bill and Sookie as anything but soul mates since that’s what they are in real life.
  • Bill and Queen Sophie-Anne have a bite-off to begin season 4. There will be a third participant in the fight, but who? When asked if it was someone on stage, Alan Ball answered something like “in a way.”
  • Stephen Moyer was asked if he was interested in directing and although he probably won’t be directing an episode in season 4, he hopefully will someday.
  • Deborah Ann Woll said that while Hoyt and Jessica ended season 3 happy and in love, it probably won’t stay that way. Per Alan, characters are only allowed to be happy for a day.
  • Stephen referred to the sex/rape scene with Lorena in Season 3, and that he had issues figuring out why Bill would go there. After speaking with Alan about it, he figured out that it was the only power he had over her – “she can fuck him over, but he can fuck her.”
  • Props for Stephen to coining the awesome term “fuckpuppet” (which supposedly Mariana has now).
  • Anna remained mum on what might happen with Sookie and Eric in season 4, and was also asked to compare Alcide with the vamps in her life. She said that Alcide can be out and about during the day, and he’s very warm. However, he has his own baggage – namely Debbie Pelt, a psycho ex who wants to take Sookie down.
  • Marshall thinks Tommy should adopt Terry and Arlene’s demon baby. I’m not sure he’d be a good influence, but it might be fun to watch and see.
  • Bill and Sookie aren’t the only soul mates in town – Eric and Lafayette might be giving them a run for their money!

After the show ended, the mad "crush" to the stage began, and what a crush it was. I did a full story about the crush at the stage, which includes the famous "Saga of the Naughty Billsbabe Thong", and can seen by clicking here.

Many, many more photos can be found in the The Vault Photo Gallery.

After the stage crush, when we managed to get out with our lives, and believe me I mean, "get out with our lives", we all went outside and headed around the corner where the limos were parked. We were hoping to get what we didn't get at the stage crush since often some of the cast sign autographs and take pictures on their way to the limos. We had heard that Marshall Allman came outside after, but we missed him. We were able to see Stephen and Anna, since they both stayed for quite awhile signing and posing for photos, as shown in the video below. Kristin Bauer also came out and signed for the fans.

You can see several of our group including Kell, who got a birthday wish from Anna, Dina, Tutu, ThelLou, Filmchick3 and me in the video below. Most of our group got their pictures and autographs and I even got another hug. Be sure to look for my special "Billsbabe Weekend" post which is coming soon to AllStephenMoyer.com.

It was a wonderful night, and the cast and all those at Paley were awesome. Since the theater was completely full, I want to praise all for making it so organized. The crush of the stage was a bit much, but I am glad that the fans had that opportunity to get really close to the stars. And, the cast of True Blood has to be the best and most wonderful group of people there is. I have met most of them personally, and I have nothing but praise for their generosity and spirit. It was very apparent, and as Stephen said, "there is a lot of love there".

Thanks to all who donated information for this post, including ThelLou for helping me to recall the Season 4 scoopage, and for her video of Stephen and Anna. Thanks to Skarsgardfans.com for their images and to askarsswedishmeatballs.tumblr.com for the wonderful animated photo above. Also thanks to all the Billsbabes who donated photos, especially Filmchick3. And finally, a big thank you to Sarah and Susan for doing the fan interviews. If I neglected to mention you, it wasn't intentional, so please email me and I'll be sure to add you as a contributor.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Win a photo signed personally for you by Stephen Moyer !!

The Vault and AllStephenMoyer.com have launched their first auction to benefit the Facing the Atlantic charity. Here's more about it.
Hold on to your seats......... you will have a chance to win a PERSONALLY SIGNED PHOTO by STEPHEN MOYER.

If you are the lucky winner of this auction you will receive this high quality 8x10 inches photo signed by Stephen Moyer personalized with YOUR NAME on it handwritten by Stephen!

You might never hear Stephen say your name in his Bill Compton voice.... but he will write it down for you.

So hurry over to eBay and place your bid! http://r.ebay.com/zA95dl

Or, you can make a donation directly to Facing the Atlantic by clicking here:


Please note: add the code TB4FTA (True Blood for Facing The Atlantic) to the note of your donation so we can keep track of how much was donated by True Blood / Stephen Moyer fans.